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Lax, R.F. (1993). Discussion. Psychoanal. Rev., 80(2):221-224.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Review, 80(2):221-224


Ruth F. Lax, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

The two masterful presentations by Jacob Arlow and Martin Bergmann depict the plethora of scientific and social ingredients necessary to provide a “good enough” analytic education and they also acquaint us with those factors that may interfere with, or detract from, the achievement of such a goal. Only a conference lasting several days could meaningfully address the multiplicity of issues that have been raised. All of us are grateful to Arlow and Bergmann for this almost overpowering stimulation, which will fuel many thoughtful exchanges for a long time to come.

Realizing that in the short time allotted to me I cannot do justice to the wealth of theoretical, technical, institutional, and social issues raised, I decided to focus on two of them that seem in need of further elaboration.

Bergmann urges us to internalize Freud's courage, to undertake and continue the journey leading to the exploration of the unconscious. Such a journey will inevitably entail the experience of states of uncertainty and self-doubt. However, according to Zetzel (1970), these feelings, as well as anxiety and mourning for losses occurring along the way, must be tolerated if the goal is to be achieved. Those who pursue this path must first undergo an analysis to undermine the moorings that attached them to the accepted dogma of the day, an analysis to explore the unconscious significance of their malleability and adaptability.

In addition to Arlow's emphasis on the analysis of the patient's “text,” I believe the interrelationship between analysand and analyst always is of utmost significance and therefore must be thoroughly analyzed.

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